The Wife – Writing Prompt

Nobody liked her, but my oldest brother chose her, and we had to live with it. My other brother sniggered at the our brother’s choice in a bride, yet he stood as best man at the wedding wearing a powder blue tuxedo and matching shoes. At the wedding, my best-man brother pushed his hands into the pockets of his blazer, rolled his shoulders into a hip slouch, and hid his red eyes behind mirrored shades, casting bemused looks at our oldest brother saying his vows.

My father, who was not my brothers’ father, shook his head in bewilderment saying, “What does he see in her? He’s such a good looking kid. He could have any girl. Why her?” At the reception my father, proud in his Brooks Brother’s suit, wilted in the glow of the in-laws across the table. A jolly, gap-toothed woman in an expansive floral dress and her younger devoted husband were ebullient at the good match their daughter made.  My mother, clearly destine to become the mother-in-law of all mother-in-law jokes, wrapped herself in southern dignity, grabbed a glass of champaign, smiled her brightly painted smile, and seethed inside. She knew what the rest of us did not; the marriage was doomed.

Our family dislike of my brother’s wife could have been superficial. Shallow as this sounds, we are a good looking family. It was understood that the unattractiveness of my brother’s new wife would produce unattractive offspring. But our dislike of this woman was more than skin deep. It was more than class. I listened to my long divorced parents fill me on the the wife’s latest transgression of social etiquette. One afternoon six years into the marriage, my mother called to say, “She could have asked. I would have given her the hand towel, but she took it. Why? I  heard her going through  the bureau drawers too.” I offered my condolences.

When the divorce came, we all knew it would,  my brother, the cuckold, lost his bearings for a time. Being replace by a woman challenged his manhood. After the initial rush of divorce, the wife found herself untethered and alone, living in a car. Occasionally she would borrow money from her kids promising to repay. She never did.

Note: The narrator’s voice is not my voice. This response is between memoir and fiction.

prompt: I am sure we were all shocked and devastated by  the news of the divorce of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries after only 72 days of marriage. Right. But in the spirit of relationships that we all knew wouldn’t work, we’d like for you to write about one you knew was doomed from the start. It could be yours or a close friend or family member. Please don’t use a celebrity. Unless you were in a relationship with one. Then, by all means, spill!

Remember, this is memoir, so we don’t want to see fiction (that’s for Fridays). We also don’t want to see the phrase “I remember” since we already know it’s a memory.

Word limit will be 400. That means we don’t need every detail. Just give us the key moment(s).

Write on Edge: RemembeRED


6 thoughts on “The Wife – Writing Prompt

  1. Ugh. It’s SO hard to watch someone you love go through something like that. And afterward, I always feel guilty, like I should have tried to stop it, but it’s also not really my place or my business.

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